Liberal HuffPo Correspondent Doubts Dem Candidates Fiscal Policy

November 16th, 2015 8:30 PM

Jonathan Cohn is the reliably liberal senior national correspondent for the Huffington Post. Therefore, one must take notice when he subjected the fiscal policy answers of the Democrat presidential candidates to a robust vetting after their Saturday debate and found them quite wanting. Cohn's problem is he thinks the candidates should be honest about having to increase taxes. You really expect honesty from them on this matter, Jonathan? 

The Democratic presidential candidates got some tough questions during Saturday night's debate about how they’d pay for their domestic policy proposals. They didn’t really answer them.

All three candidates -- Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders -- have endorsed ambitious agendas. They would make paid family leave available to all workers, while providing new financial assistance to help people pay for child care, college and medical bills. Sanders has also proposed creating a single-payer health insurance system, which would basically make Medicare available to everybody.

When asked about how they would finance these plans, all three candidates implied they could do so without broad tax increases, except on the very wealthy. levels are already insufficient to finance current government operations, let alone an agenda that calls for new programs. At some point, Democrats need to stop pretending that ambitious domestic initiatives wouldn’t cost more money and start arguing, simply, that those initiatives would be worth the price.

But if they told the truth, that would cost them votes. So they need to engage in deceit.